A 6'4" guard/forward from Winslow, Indiana, Farley led Winslow High School (250 students) to an undefeated regular season as a junior (1948-49) and all the way to the Semi-State championship game as a senior (1949-50). In both those years Winslow lost to the eventual state champion. In the four years he was attended Winslow the team compiled an 83-8 record.
At Indiana University Farley played a critical role on the 1953 NCAA Championship team. He was All-Big Ten in 1953 and 1954, both seasons in which the Hoosiers won the Big Ten title. Some observers believe that he would have been an All-American, had he not had the misfortune of playing on such talent-laden Indiana teams.
Farley played three seasons (1954-56; 1958-59) in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Syracuse Nationals and Detroit Pistons in a career interrupted by service in the U.S. Air Force. He won a league title with Syracuse in 1955. He scored 1,378 points in his career, averaging 6.5 PPG.
In 1999 the Indiana legislature honored Richard "Dick" Farley by naming the bridge located south of Winslow, Indiana, on State Road 61 spanning the Patoka River after him.